It’s almost impossible to design a room without some form of storage.
In almost every interior design project I have worked on for clients, storage solutions feature in some form of another be it subtle or obvious. The secret, I find, is getting the right type of storage for the ‘clutter’. With a bit of planning and thought the room will flow seamlessly and the storage solutions will blend in where required and provide a focal point when they have something beautiful to showcase.
If you’re lucky enough to have space to redesign part of your home and create a dedicated storage room this can be the answer to all your storage issues. A purpose-built room can be designed with just storage in mind and you can go to town with the knowledge that it won’t be ‘on show’. Be mindful that you will want ready access to your possessions though, so a system of some sort will be useful. A general rule would be to section off the room into types of storage, creating space for holiday equipment in one area, Christmas decorations in another etc… Keep the items you’re more likely to need more often near to the entrance or at a lower level so they’re easily accessible. If you’re short on space, a storage room can double up as a utility, a boot room or a cloakroom, all of which are equally functional spaces. Garages, lofts, side-passage extensions and basements all make perfect storage rooms. My top tip in a storage room would be max out on your available height. This isn’t something I would recommend in a living space as it can become a little claustrophobic but in a dedicated storage room, consider floor to ceiling shelving to maximise your capacity. Use baskets or boxes to store your items on the shelves so that it still gives a clean, tidy look. When decorating, use a lighter shade of paint for your walls to give a clean feel and plenty of lighting (spotlights are great in a storage room as they won’t get in the way).
Virtually every room in the house needs storage of some sort. Whilst designing a room around your storage requirements would be wrong and may mean you miss out on honing in on the room’s natural focal points and features, I am always mindful of incorporating some storage into every room that I re-design. Just one or two storage solutions in each room can keep your clutter at bay and mean you have a lovely calm room that is designed for how you want to live in it.
I believe there’s two types of storage. Items that needs to be hidden away and items that are pleasing to look at but just need the right surroundings in order to shine. For items that need to be hidden away (think remote controls, children’s toys, spare cushions, toiletries) I’m a big fan of baskets and boxes. There are some wonderful and inexpensive options to choose from and you can have a lot of fun with how you use them. They look great on shelving, in dark corners and tucked under a bed or mix and match the sizes and create a feature. But my big love is a good ottoman! Not only does an ottoman make a statement it provides a fabulous storage solution and can serve as a coffee table, footstool or seat too. What’s not to love! Storage benches are also great, particularly in the hallway, creating a pleasing feature but hiding an array of wellies and muddy boots underneath.
Some items don’t deserve to be hidden yet they still need the right storage to come to life. Books, dinnerware, beautiful wine glasses and even piles of fluffy towels can be used to create a feature in any room if given the right storage to let it shine. There are some beautiful display cabinets, particularly those with glass fronts that provide a great combination of storage and display. Bookcases come in many forms but often less is more. If you have a large book collection, it might still be worth storing some and displaying fewer to avoid the cluttered look. A few well-chosen books displayed on an eye-catching, well-designed bookshelf will create an amazing focal point in a living room.
Lastly, don’t forget your outdoor space when it comes to storage. From a practical point of view it’s a good idea to tidy away tools when they’re not in use to prevent them getting rusty and damaged. Toys too can get worn and faded in the sun. If you have the space, a simple shelving system in a small shed or outhouse can be used to instantly clear your garden. For outdoor furniture cushions, always use a weatherproof storage box which will prevent them getting damp during the winter months. If you want to add a bit of glamour to your garden but still retain your storage consider putting an internal wall inside your shed and turning the back half of your shed into storage with the front half becoming a beautiful summer house!
For more inspiration, check out my Pinterest Board: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/room4interiorslimited/clever-storage-solutions/.